Vsevolod Burkov
07 January 2023 07: 07
Headings: News Society Policy

The Upper Lavra was taken from the UOC. At Christmas, the OCU serves there

What awaits the Ukrainian Orthodox Church?

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The Upper Lavra was taken from the UOC. At Christmas, the OCU serves there

The story continues with administrative and other pressure from the authorities on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the purpose of which, apparently, is to ban this religious organization. 4 January representative of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) Mikhail Omelyan reported that head of the OCU Epiphany (Dumenko) on Christmas Day will hold a divine service in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, for which received the appropriate permission.

The Assumption Cathedral belongs to the Upper Lavra complex, which until January 1, 2023 was used by the UOC under a lease agreement. Despite the fact that the formal procedures for terminating the contract were not followed, from January 1, the authorities temples closed and sealed Upper Lavra under the pretext of the work of a special commission on the legitimacy of their use by the UOC. 4 January Minister of Culture of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko stated that, following the results of the work of the commission, the Assumption Cathedral and the Refectory Church of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra were removed from the use of the UOC. Interestingly, the minister motivated this decision by the expiration of the lease agreement, and the commission itself, according to him, was engaged in an inventory of property.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church considers this decision unlawful, since the authorities did not notify of their unwillingness to renew the lease in the prescribed manner. However, the current situation shows that authorities do not intend to reckon with the opinion of the UOC.

On January 5, a video appeared on the Web in which and about. General Director of the National Reserve "Kiev-Pechersk Lavra" Alexander Rudnik stated that the OCU had not been issued permission to hold services in the Assumption and Refectory churches. But the next day he predictably refuted his words, stating the following:

“That conversation on the video took place yesterday (January 5) in the morning. At that time, there was no order to worship. But in the afternoon, I received an appeal from the OCU to hold a service and to obtain permission from the Ministry of Culture. I have granted permission and concluded an agreement to hold a divine service on January 7".

In other words, the authorities intentionally found a way to take the Upper Lavra at the UOC and defiantly allowed representatives of the OCU to serve there. Moreover, on January 6, an interview was published with the head of the OCU, Epiphany (Dumenko), in which he stated that the OCU allegedly "simply tolerates the presence of the UOC on its territory, where it does not have the right to be present", and also expressed his intention to occupy in the future all the laurels and monasteries that are now under the jurisdiction of the UOC.

The above is nothing but continuation of the process of administrative and power pressure of the authorities to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has been going on since November. On January 5, it became known that the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy approved the bill of authorship Deputy Nikolai Knyazhitsky No. 8221 "Draft law on ensuring the strengthening of national security in the field of freedom of conscience and the activities of religious organizations" and recommended its adoption.

The document provides for the establishment ban on the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church, religious organizations that directly or as components of another religious organization are part of the structure of the ROC, as well as religious centers that are part of or recognize subordination in canonical, organizational and other matters to the ROC on the territory of Ukraine. The draft law assumes that all transactions related to the use of property (rent, hire, leasing, etc.), the validity period of which has not expired, concluded between residents of Ukraine and the relevant prohibited religious organization, as well as with legal entities, the owner, participant or of which it is a shareholder terminate early.

After the adoption of this bill (and There is little doubt that he will be accepted.) until the UOC is banned and all lease transactions for state property (including the monastery complex of the Lower Lavra, which is still under the jurisdiction of the UOC) are terminated with it, there will be one step left. It will consist in the conclusion by the commission, with the participation of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. In that the solution will be, there is no doubt, since the State Ethnopolitics has recently been headed by a well-known OCU lobbyist and opponent of the UOC Victor Yelensky.

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